City Departments

Administration and Regulatory Affairs
ARA provides efficient and logical solutions to administrative and regulatory challenges. We will provide increasing value to Houston via a customer-driven team that pursues continual improvement to operational efficiency and service excellence.

  • Burglar Alarms
  • Commercial Permitting and Enforcement
  • Vehicle-for-Hire Permits

Office of Business Opportunity
The Office of Business Opportunity is committed to creating a competitive and diverse business environment in the City of Houston by promoting the growth and success of local small businesses, with special emphasis on historically underutilized groups by ensuring their meaningful participation in the government procurement process.

  • Contract Opportunities/Compliance
  • Hire Houston First
  • Liftoff Houston
  • Solutions Center

Office of Economic Development, Mayor's Office
The Economic Development Division is dedicated to promoting City initiatives and economic tools to business owners interested in relocating or expanding their companies in the City of Houston. This division coordinates a myriad of economic development incentives with businesses worldwide. We seek to help qualified companies grow their business through expansion in our City. Our strategy involves building on the City's strengths to promote existing businesses and retain jobs, to facilitate business expansion, and recruit new businesses and related employment to the City.

  • 380 Agreements
  • EB-5: Immigrant Investor Program
  • Enterprise Zones
  • Historic Site Tax Exemptions
  • Industrial Districts
  • Tax Abatements
  • Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones

Houston Fire Department
The Houston Fire Department exists to serve our citizens (the public). Our menu of responsibilities is ever changing, but our basic areas of service are prevention and enforcement, public education, pre-hospital emergency care & transportation, and fire control. Our service has evolved to include hazardous materials, technical rescue, tactical medicine, swift water rescue, and social service calls. We are the “one-stop” shopping that citizens can rely on. When they call we only ask a few questions, respond quickly, solve their problems, and leave just as fast as we arrived. No red tape on either end….no other government agency works in quite the same way.

  • Houston Fire Marshall

Houston Health Department
The Houston Health Department provides traditional public health services and seeks to use innovative methods to meet the community’s present and future needs. Our mission is to work in partnership with the community to promote and protect the health and social well-being of all Houstonians. HHD is now the first health department in Texas and the second in a large U.S. city to earn national accreditation.

  • Bureau of Air Quality Control
  • Food Dealers, Handlers Permits
  • Smoking Ordinance

Houston Police Department
The mission of the Houston Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in the city of Houston by working cooperatively with the public to prevent crime, enforce the law, preserve the peace, and provide a safe environment.

Office of International Trade and Affairs, Mayor's Office
The Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs serves as the City’s international liaison, forming an important link between Houstonians and the world. Whether welcoming heads of state, establishing numerous diplomatic ties, attracting foreign investment or assisting Houston businesses seeking markets abroad, our office works to realize the mayor's vision of an ever more global Houston.

Planning and Development Department
The Planning and Development Department's mission is to work to ensure that it remains a vibrant and sustainable city by partnering with decision makers and the community to balance a spectrum of needs and interests while addressing the dynamics of growth and change.

  • Subdivision and Development Plats

Public Works and Engineering
Public Works and Engineering is responsible for overseeing services to Houston citizens through the planning, operation, maintenance, construction management and technical engineering of the City's public infrastructure. The Department’s responsibilities include operation and maintenance of the City’s streets and drainage, production and distribution of water, collection and treatment of wastewater, and permitting and regulation of public and private construction. The Department is staffed with a trained work force of approximately 3,900 employees and operates with an annual budget of approximately $1.8 billion.

  • Building/Structure Permits
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Houston Permitting Center
  • Sign Permits
  • Small Business Development Group
  • Wastewater Capacity Reservation/Impact Fees

Solid Waste Management Department
The Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) provides solid waste services to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.

  • Dumpster Permits